NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, January 8th (All times Eastern)
Phoenix Suns (12-23) at Milwaukee Bucks (16-16), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - At least Jim Boylan won't have to make his Milwaukee Bucks coaching debut in Phoenix.
With the club having parted ways with Scott Skiles, Boylan will hope that the Bucks can snap their longest losing streak of the season on Tuesday evening when they host the struggling Suns.
Reports surfaced on Monday that Milwaukee and Skiles, in the final year of his contract, agreed to part ways. Skiles went 162-182 in his four-plus seasons with the Bucks and the club reached the postseason just once.
Boylan is slated to take over on an interim basis after joining Skiles' staff for the 2008-09 campaign. Boylan had just finished a stint as the interim coach of the Chicago Bulls after they dismissed Skiles.
Milwaukee got off to a 6-2 start this season, but has gone 10-14 since. It has lost four straight, including Saturday's 95-80 setback to the Indiana Pacers.
Monta Ellis scored a game-high 21 points and Brandon Jennings added 12 points and five assists for the Bucks. Larry Sanders added 12 points and 12 rebounds, including a career-high seven offensive, while rookie John Henson pulled down 13 boards.
"We've got some issues, especially the last four losses in a row," said Skiles. "We couldn't make key stops at crucial times and our rebounding was a little suspect."
Boylan will try to lead the Bucks to their first victory in five meetings with the Suns, who have won 11 of the last 12 meetings.
Phoenix has also won 24 straight at home over Milwaukee, but just two straight and nine of its last 12 on the road in this series.
The Suns also come in struggling, having lost two straight and eight of their last nine overall. They were denied the 2,000th win in franchise history again on Sunday, falling 92-81 to the Memphis Grizzlies.
P.J. Tucker finished with a career-high 17 points and five rebounds in his fourth straight start for Phoenix, while Marcin Gortat was the only other member of the Suns to score in double digits with 12 points while adding eight rebounds.
Phoenix shot just 39.2 percent from the field in the setback.
"We really could never get anything going," Suns coach Alvin Gentry admitted. "We got bogged down offensively and struggled to make shots. Had some tough turnovers and never really got any kind of rhythm."
The Suns open a four-game road trip tonight and are just 2-14 as the guest. They have lost nine straight on the road.
01/08 10:31:37 ET